Mao Xue Wang (Duck Blood Curd 毛血旺)
What is it?
Mao xue wang is made of duck blood curd, tripe, chicken gizzard and other organ parts simmered in a broth that is made of peppercorn and chillis. It is popular because of the different textures featured in the dish – from silky (via the blood curd) to chewy (gizzard and heart) and even crunchy (tripe).
Why is it famous?
Legend has it that in the 1940s – a period where nutrition was scarce in China owing to continuous armed conflict – a butcher surnamed Wang in Ciqikou, Chongqing, sold his shop’s innards and scraps at very low prices. One day, Wang’s wife (who had the surname Zhang) came up with the idea of instead putting all the cheap odds and ends into a soup. The outcome was a delicious broth. By accident, Zhang put duck blood curd into the broth, and found that the curd tasted even silkier and made the soup more flavourful. The dish soon became known as Mao Xue Wang.
Mao, in Chongqing dialect means rough, and also implies that the ingredients in the dish are somewhat sloppy. In recent years, the dish has included variants where other equally unhealthy ingredients like luncheon meat are added.
Duck blood curd is also known as ‘blood tofu’. Fresh duck blood is left sitting in a container while the blood coagulates. The solidified blood is then cut into smaller pieces before cooking in a pot of heated water. But more often than not, pork blood curd is used instead of duck blood curd in mao xue wang because pork blood is more accessible and is cheaper. In Shanghainese cuisine, there is also a soup-based blood dish called Chicken and Duck Blood Soup, using not one but two types of blood curds – chicken and duck – as the main ingredients.
Where to eat it?
In Chongqing, the birthplace of the dish, Shengtian MaoXueWang is a good place to sample the dish. The restaurant is located near Jiefangbei in Chongqing, 7 Qingnian Road, Shidai Haoyuan Block D, Room 16-6; Tel: 86-23-6381-6677.
Sichuan Paradise in Hong Kong offers a modern version of the dish, replacing the cheap cuts with fresh seafood. Address: 3/F, One Capital Place, 18 Luard Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong; Tel: 852-2205-0020.
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